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off-white virgil abloh ss19 menswear paris pfw
Backstage at Off-White Menswear SS19

Virgil Abloh collaborates with... The Simpsons for Off-White

The designer’s SS19 menswear collection was an ode to teenage rebels like Bart Simpson

Virgil Abloh has got what he wanted: the designer had always said that his brand Off-White functioned more like a CV, and now it’s bagged him the dream job as head of Vuitton menswear. But what does that mean for his own label? The answer, he said backstage after today’s PFW show, was the opportunity to explore youth culture in-depth – and keep his more grown-up designs for LV.

So who sums up the rebellious spirit of youth best for Abloh? Bart Simpson, obviously! After a ‘Wait, was that actually the house from The Simpsons on a t-shirt?’ moment, the cartoon tearaway himself appeared on tees and hoodies, accompanied by some of his most famous catchphrases. “The rebel without a cause! Bart Simpson is the face of that,” Abloh explained. “‘I’m Bart Simpson, who the hell are you?’. That’s what I grew up with, I was born in the 80s and this was in the 90s. It was like an ode to the teenager.”

The rest of the show – which featured lots of denim, a cameo from that see-through Rimowa suitcase, and a collab with Dr Martens – was a tribute to graffiti artist Dondi White, who was prevalent in NY’s downtown scene before dying of an Aids-related illness in 1998.

“(He was a) super important art figure in the lower New York scene and that’s what the show was about,” Abloh said. “(The collection) was about New York City and the mix that you get in the summertime between the thugs and the skateboard kids, the kids that live on the street… you can be in a New York City park and be hanging out with a multimillionaire with his kids.”

Fans of Abloh’s designs can stay tuned for his Louis Vuitton menswear debut on June 21 at 1:30pm.